There’s no arguing that the Buffyverse is one of the greatest fictional universes ever created. Well, there is arguing, one side is just objectively wrong. When you’ve got a series created by Joss Whedon (and helmed by amazing writers like Jane Espenson and Ben Edlund) you can’t really go wrong. Or can you?
Despite the wonderful writing and return of fan favorite characters in the Buffy comic books, there are still some very bad Buffy plotlines. Most of the main story arcs of the Buffyverse EU are peachy keen, but when you begin to dissect the subplots and side quests of your favorite whip smart, vampire fighting heroes, you see that not everything in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is five by five.
What happened to Buffy after the show? It turns out that it’s mostly pretty dumb stuff. The concept of magic comes and goes, there’s an evil statue, people are killed only to be brought back a few comics later, and the audience is asked to care about characters that they haven’t thought about in years and will likely never see again.
The Buffyverse expanded universe has so much room to play, it makes you wonder why the writers would go off on tangents that make you feel like an idiot for throwing down your three bucks. But the best thing about Buffy is that even when it’s bad, it’s still kind of good. Like sex or pizza.
If you just need to have an explanation as to why your magical super team has a bunch of money, you might as well write a story where your main character robs a bank. But really, in a world where Buffy and Willow fly to a secret cottage to meet an old-timey demon who walks between worlds, why do we need to know how Buffy makes her money to fund an international slayer army?
Was that really the breaking point of anybody's suspension of disbelief? "Oh, sure, I'll buy the sex-magick, witchcraft, time travel stuff, but I draw the line at realistic fiscal limitations of international organizations." It's definitely a funny idea, but that doesn't make it any less dumb.
Ugh, can we please cool it with the time travel? Like, everyone in fiction for the next 10 years or so? Whether it's being accomplished by a demon showing Buffy how she's going to (maybe) die, or via crossover with the miniseries Fray, time travel turns everything into a huge mess that should be avoided at all costs.
In the Time of Your Life story arc from season 8, Buffy is shot forward 200 years in the future and thanks to some insane nonsense she has to fight and kill Dark Willow. We get it, Dark Willow bad, yellow crayon Willow good. No more time travel please.
Spike is easily one the three best characters in the Buffyverse (in this order: Willow, Anya, Spike), but having him just pop into the end of Season 8 driving a futuristic spaceship is deeply, deeply stupid. So, he stole the ship from Wolfram & Hart (who stole it from some intergalactic space bugs so they could escape from Twilight) and just kind of tools around in it now.
There's nothing wrong with mixing genres, but doesn't his ship feel a bit like a deus ex machina? At the end of Season 8, the slayers need to get back to Sunnydale and Spike appears out of nowhere to help out. With a huge method of transportation. Also, Whedon needs to make some kind of back door connection to Fray (despite the fact that she's also a slayer and the story takes 200 years in the future so who cares) and who better to bridge the gap then everyone's favorite Billy Idol impersonator? But seriously, J-Wheds, let's cool it with the spaceships. This isn't Firefly.
It's obvious that Whedon and company know that Dawn's never going to be a fan favorite. But come on, having her turn into a giant, then a centaur, and then a huge doll (she cheated on her thricewise boyfriend with his roommate, it's a whole thing) seems like it only happens to frustrate the readers.
It's nice that Dawn has something to do in Season 8 other than whine about not having anything to do, but yikes, why not send her to the moon or whatever? That makes just as much sense.